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Review: Against Medical Advice

September 5, 2008

Against Medical Advice by James Patterson and Hal Friedman is the heart-wrenching tale of Cory Friedman’s struggle with Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorder.  (Hal Friedman is Cory’s father.)  Cory’s development was normal until shortly before his fifth birthday, when tics and obsessions took over his body. Cory said,

My body is always betraying me, always, always, always.

The book is told from Cory’s point of view, so the reader sees these neurological disorders from a different perspective.  Cory lived in mental anguish, sometimes to the point of wanting to die.  He said,

No one can imagine how horrible this is.  Every single day, something bad happens to me.

He is lucky, though, because he has a strong, supportive family, who believes he can do anything.  They took him from doctor to doctor, and over a thirteen year period, they tried over 30 different medications on him.  None of them worked and many made things worse.  Despite his parents’ best efforts, Cory struggled socially and physically.  He had trouble staying in school all day.  For every triumph, there seemed to be four or five setbacks.  Things got worse and finally hit rock bottom when Cory became addicted to alcohol and cigarettes.

At that point, Cory’s family decided they had to come up with a plan of their own and embarked on an intervention.  It wasn’t easy but the results are astounding.  Cory is a remarkable young man and his story moved me to tears.  This book is short, but it tells a powerful story of strength, love and determination.  It is a must read for anyone struggling with a medical diagnosis.

This book will released on October 20 by Hachette Books.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2008 9:52 am

    This is different than what Patterson usually writes. Sounds interesting.

  2. September 5, 2008 7:23 pm

    OMG i am a huge JP fan and this books sounds like nothing he has done before..can’t wait to read this.

  3. September 7, 2008 4:20 pm

    Oh wow…I had no idea about this book! Thanks for posting this.

  4. patricia permalink
    October 6, 2008 9:34 pm

    I just got this book from my book club and I have read the first three chapters and can’t seem to put it down. I like James Patterson’s book and I think this one is going to be a great read.

  5. Tina permalink
    November 8, 2008 10:44 pm

    Just finished the book. What an amazing story of courage and strength. Cory is a hero!!! A must read!

  6. Vivian permalink
    November 10, 2008 9:24 am

    Reading this book cleared up a few things for me. I have two sons with Tourette’s. Their symptoms were extremely mild compared with Cory’s. Unfortunately Tex died in an accident that was caused by his risky behavior. I see now that the risky behavior was part of the Tourette’s. Scott is 40 and still deals with the symptoms every day. fortunately they are not so obvious as Cory’s, but still very uncomfortable and distressing.

  7. linda scroggins permalink
    November 11, 2008 6:11 am

    this book was like reading the story of my sons life!randy is now 31 & was diagnosed in 1985,touretts,ocd,adhd,ect!only 2nd from loosing my oldest son in afatal auto accident in 1989,raising randy was not only a living hell for my family,but one that randy could never escape from.he did it without meds,no alchol,no drugs!i still today cant understand his strength.andy is lead vocalist for his own band today and is a great man.with all this said,he still lives in his quite hell.god bless you cory and your stolen childhood!

  8. Adriane McCullagh permalink
    November 30, 2008 8:40 pm

    I just read this book in 2 days! I could not put it down. A must read. What an amazing family and person! The strength they have, I so admire them. I am having every person I know read this. I also really admire James Patterson for co-authoring this book. He is right. Cory is a hero. His entire family are heros!!

  9. December 17, 2008 8:25 am

    I’ve read half of this book, and the portion i have, it has totally changed my view of myself. Why? I have Tourettes, whicch in the last fourty-eight hours has taken a dramatic turn for the worst. Please pardon the typos, but my arms dn’t wanna be still. its a tic. i am moved by his resilience (cory’s) and currently hope i won’t deteriorate to the point he got to. I will finnnish it as soon as my arms get still when the tic i can hold the boook..

  10. January 23, 2009 3:03 pm

    Wow… I have only been turned on to James Patterson since the last 1year and i have read four of his books including “Against Medical Advice” . Having a child with special needs I had to buy this book as soon as I heard about it. I am glad I did. I think people overlook what hardship that families can go threw raising a child with any form of a disability. Thank you james for another great novel and congratulations to you Cory for never giving up!

  11. Tara permalink
    October 24, 2009 3:46 pm

    This book should be required reading for teenagers. It is so hard for people to look at others who are different without making snap judgments. This book will teach empathy, hope, (I am the mom of an autistic child who needs hope), and the desire to be a better, more loving and tolerant mother to my daughter who’s behavior issues can be very hard to deal with.

  12. McKenzie permalink
    March 2, 2011 7:23 pm

    Life changing, beautiful, and a miracle, are some of the words me and my friends call this book. The book is all our favorite, this is a book that forever will be my favorite.
    All thanks to this review, we found the glorious book that has changed my circle of friends. Each of us have begun to see life in a new view based on the part of Cory’s life that was recorded and published.

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